C-Suite execs say HR struggling to adapt

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Despite some three-quarters of organisations testifying they are becoming more global, virtual and flexible, barely a quarter of HR teams are rising to the challenge of sourcing and retaining international talent, a new report has concluded.

According to the Rethinking Human Resources in a Changing World report, which was sponsored by professional services firm KPMG, over the coming years the success of HR teams will be defined by their ability to retain people in critical roles.

Yet the retention challenge is commonly underestimated by the C-suite, Robert Bolton from KPMG said. It’s often dismissed as an easy task for HR, given the high unemployment rates in many countries. “But with employee engagement levels an increasing concern, more effort must be put into understanding staff needs before today's employees become tomorrow's alumni,” Bolten said.

Another key battle ground for HR will be finding ways to leverage the latest technology to bolster HR issues. The report noted that HR would remain the "poor relation" at the boardroom table until it fully embraced technology – and to do so, HR must move away from the tendency to report historical data, in favour of forward-looking analytics designed to improve business understanding of employee demands and desires.

"Given the high unemployment rates in many countries, you would forgiven for thinking that retention is an easy task for HR, but with employee engagement levels an increasing concern more effort must be put into understanding staff needs before today's employees become tomorrow's alumni

The report stated that HR would remain the "poor relation" at the boardroom table until it fully embraced technology. HR needed to move away from its tendency to report historical data, in favour of more up-to-date barometers by which to ascertain employee demands and desires.

And the technological suggestion offered by the report was surprisingly unsophisticated – social media. HR teams must make better use of [social media] to provide their managers with the data they believe will be of most use, Bolten said.

*The report surveyed 418 C-suite executives.

 

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